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The Day After +15.0: Oilers lose home-ice advantage in series with Stars

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
19 days ago
After splitting the first two games of the Western Conference Final with the Stars in Dallas, the Oilers returned to Edmonton in a favourable position. Win your games at home and you’re off to the Stanley Cup.
The crowd was loud and the Oilers came flying out of the gates. Zach Hyman scored two minutes into the first period and Connor McDavid buried another shortly after. Thorough 20 minutes of play, the Oilers were up by a score of 2-0 and led 11 to 3 in shots on goal.
The second period was like a brand-new game. The Stars came out and buried three goals in under four minutes to suddenly take a 3-2 lead. Dallas completely controlled play in the second frame, though Adam Henrique was able to knot the score up in the final minute of the period.
As has been the case in all three games this series, Dallas then went ahead and won the third period. They shut things down, kept the Oilers to the outside, and Jason Robertson managed to shove a puck past Stuart Skinner to put the Stars in front. Dallas then added an empty-net goal to put the game out of reach.
The Oilers now find themselves down 2-1 to the Stars in this series and are facing a very important Game 4 in Edmonton on Wednesday. The goal now is to avoid going down 3-1 before returning to Dallas for Game 5. It’s going to take more than 20 minutes of strong play to beat the Stars, a team that’s found their groove after a five-day layoff ahead of Game 1 last week.

What they said…

Connor McDavid on the Stars coming back and winning their second game in a row…
“You could definitely feel their urgency, their desperation,” McDavid said. “Their level went up, and we just didn’t match it.
“They all sting. Losing sucks. Obviously, series are short and you only get a handful of games. I’m not going to say we gave it away. It was 40 minutes and we were able to wrestle it back, but we just didn’t find a way again.”
Kris Knoblauch on the Oilers not building off of their strong first period…
“It was a complete reversal of the first period,” Knoblauch said. “I think they were ready to come out hard and have a good push. Hopefully, things would just continue sailing the way they had in the first period, but it caught us by surprise.”
“I think we had our start that we needed, but we took our foot off the pedal.”
Stuart Skinner on the game-winning goal that Dallas scored in the third period… 
“We had it, we weren’t able to get it out, and then, they just took advantage there,” Skinner said. “Two guys at the net. A really quick two-on-one. So I made the read to get out and thought he would shoot five-hole when I went down. He got me to bite, went around and banked it off me. I’d have to watch it back to see exactly how it happened, but I tried my best in the quickness of the situation and Robertson was able to make a pretty good play. But I’ve got to save it in that situation.”
McDavid on the Oilers being shut down in the third period…
“We didn’t give up much. We didn’t get much either. It was a pretty tight checking period,” McDavid said. “Obviously, the margins are really small in the series and it was pretty similar to the last third period in Game 2. It was tight-checking, and they found a way to get one and we didn’t.”
Knoblauch on Adam Henrique coming back into the lineup after missing multiple games due to an injury… 
“You never know what a player’s going to bring after a long stretch of not playing,” Knoblauch said. “He’s playing really well in the playoffs, but just the tempo and the speed and how fast it is in the playoffs, usually it’s very difficult for a player to find their game, but I don’t think he had any problems. He made a lot of nice plays – obviously with the goal – and I thought he was pretty good on the face-off dot, and it was nice having Henrique back with us.
“Hopefully, he just continues to build on his game.”
Stars’ head coach Pete DeBoer on getting centre Roope Hintz back from injury…
“We gutted it out while (Hintz) was out of the lineup,” DeBoer said. “It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t as pretty as it was tonight when he was out, but we still found ways. Guys still found ways to contribute without a key player.
“That’s what I’m most proud of. It was great that he was back tonight, but I’m really proud of how we handled his absence.”
Stars’ forward Jason Robertson on finding the back of the net for the first time since the first round of the playoffs… 
“Definitely, you want to score goals,” Robertson said. “It’s been a while, and you still contribute but obviously when you want to help the team you want to score goals and scoring one gives you confidence and gets you ready to go.
“Kind of just like a domino effect.”

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